Synonyms: Charcoal Feather Federation
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 10, 2002 to Dec 19, 2002
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.131 (scored by 33247 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
drama fantasy mystery slice of life
SynopsisA dream of falling from the sky... and then birth. Rakka is born from a large cocoon into the Old Home, greeted by a group of females with small wings on their backs and shining halos above their heads. Soon Rakka’s own wings grow, a halo is placed on her head and she is told that she must work in the nearby town of Grie. She soon realizes that the town and the entire world they live in are confined behind the Wall, a tall, impenetrable wall that none except the mysterious Toga are allowed to exit.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Haibane Renmei
Characters & Voice Actors
This is the most striking anime I've ever seen. The care and imagination that went into every aspect of the show is remarkable, but due to the slow, gentle nature of the series I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, if only because this isn't a typical anime in terms of plot. The suspense is subtle -- difficult to spot if you're watching it for the first time -- and builds up over half of the series. Haibane Renmei starts off languid and mysterious, and it tapers off just as languid and mysterious, and every episode seems to reveal more questions that never get answered. Even with the sudden spike in conflict later in the series, most of it is internal.
Don't be fooled by the angel-like appearance, by the way. Religion has nothing to do with this anime, and ABe has said before that it's a purely aesthetic choice, though some do feel that there's symbolism involved.
That said, it's provocative and heartbreaking and dreamlike. Pacing is slow, but expertly done. You'll find that one episode transitions easily into the next. And so much of the story is implied... as well as character backgrounds and the like.
Its art doesn't try to wow the viewer, and it seems content to just let the setting and soft colors and unique character designs speak for themselves. The backgrounds are gorgeous and detailed. Characters' personalities are mild and realistic; no character gets shoved into the standard archetypes you so often see in anime.
Also notable is the soundtrack. Every song fits the mood of Haibane Renmei perfectly -- especially notable (aside from the opening, "Free Bird," and ending theme "Blue Flow") are "Garasu no Yume," "Ailes Grises," "Starting of the World," and "A Little Plate's Rondo." Many of them feel like lullabies. Personally, the soundtrack is one of my favorite parts of this series, but looking at the other reviews, it looks like I'm the only one who finds it so breathtaking. Your mileage may vary.
It begins by letting the viewer into the peaceful simplicity of daily life in Glie, allowing insight into the setting and the minor characters, but it grows into a story about friendship and letting go and guilt and forgiving yourself and so much more. The climax of the story is likely to make you cry or cringe or suck in your breath -- maybe all three.
At times depressing and at times gently uplifting and feather-soft, Haibane Renmei is unparalleled in beauty, and I wouldn't hesitate to call it my favorite anime of all time. read more
After watching this for a third time in the last eight years, I can still say that this is my favorite anime. The themes are very real to me and if you let yourself be immersed by the characters, culture, and plot, you will walk away with a heavy heart and a full mind.
Like most ABe anime, this is not for everyone.
If you are looking for constant action or laughs, I would chose something else.
The first five episodes are quite slow, but it lets you take in the details. It helps you focus on the characters and realize they were all part of different walks in their previous life. It more importantly sets up the culture and setting, helping you to form your own theories about who the haibane are meant to be.
The sixth episode is where the darker underlying theme start. This series tackles ideas of loss, attachment, depression and suicide. I admit for anyone who has not felt the sense of pure helplessness or bundling emotions until they burst can not fully understand the weight of the internal conflicts both Rakka and Reki face.
I personally view this series with a spiritual mind rather than a religious one. Though haibane resemble angels, they are born again due to some past sin that they committed or couldn't overcome. Their wings are useless, they do not have a connection to a higher being, and they are almost seen as mystical creatures by the residing humans, often described as a cheerful presence that can give good luck. The haibane are instructed not to use anything that wasn't first used by a human, leading me to believe it is a hint for both discrimination and to cut off ties of the material nature of man. Their whole existence is to make peace within themselves so they can escape the walls on their Day of Flight.
This anime teaches you that salvation can not come from yourself. You need to trust others and express your emotions or you will find yourself in the endless, vicious, self-loathing cycle.
"To recognize one's sin is to have no sin. So are you a sinner?"
"But if I believe have no sin I become a sinner."
"This is the cycle of sin. Think about it. To spin in the same circle, looking for where the sin lies, and at some point losing sight of the way out. To find the answer is to find redemption."
If you are someone who has trouble breaking the sinner's paradox, you will forever be sin bound. You need to realize your sin and know that you will sin again, but to learn from your mistakes and help others forgive you. In turn, they will aide you to break the cycle.
Both Rakka and Reki exemplify consuming sin, which is shown by their wings turning a spotty black. Rakka had help from a crow (who was someone she knew in her previous life), which showed that although someone cared for her, after she presumably committed suicide, they still forgave her and wanted to send a message that she was not alone. After overcoming the feelings of wanting to disappear, Rakka uses her strength to help Reki, who was even more hopeless in finding salvation.
The ending is bittersweet, but truly outstanding. This series is haunting yet charming, unique and touching. The musical score is enchanting and although the art may not always be the best, it makes up for it in every other aspect. For someone who constantly struggles with depression, it gives you hope and a reason to trust others, even when you don't believe in yourself. read more
While Haibane Renmei couldn't be more dissimilar, the concept of the characters being in a supposed afterlife or purgatory are both extremely integral to the setting. Although in Angel Beats!, it seems like they fear the next step and thus rebel in anyway to ensure they don't disappear. However, in Haibane Renmei, they do the exact opposite and are more resigned to their fate, and there is little conflict.
Similar premise, very different execution.. Haibane takes away the comedy, action and some cuteness factor in order to bring more deepness to the premise setting, but both anime can leave you wondering the same questions about life purpose, and death.
Similar in both is by accepting yourself(regret) or atone your sin of your past before death you will be free from that world. Born to other world where they had to do work and live on with other people a.k.a citizen of that world.
In both, people are born into another world after they die because of regrets from their life before and stuck there until they can get rid of their regrets and become at peace with themselves.
Angel Beats! and Haibane Renmei have similar concepts, as both are centered around characters who are in a purgatory-like setting. While Angel Beats! has more comedy and action, Haibane Renmei takes a much more serious tone, and also likes to leave things up to the viewer to interpret. Liking one of these shows does not necessarily mean you will like the other, but it is worth trying.
Haibane Renmei is Angel Beats! done right.
Both anime explore the concept of "Afterlife".
The characters appear to be in some sort of afterlife. The characters appear to have all gotten there after suffering some sort of grief or regret in their past life
There is a distinct possibility that most, if not all, of the characters committed suicide
It appears that a primary way to “disappear” from where they are is to forgive themselves for some regret that the held over from their previous life.
Both stories take place in an after life of some sort and has simmilar themes.
Haibane Renmei is more serious then Angel Beats, though.
Both anime explore the concept of "Afterlife", and features the characters being trapped in another world due to their regrets from their past lives. Both characters are required to find peace within themselves to be finally set free.
Haibane Renmei is much more serious and complex, while Angel Beats! is a lot more comedic and action-packed.
+ Different interpretations of the afterlife for a group of people who appear to be adolescents despite not being human
+ The wall in Haibane Renmei is similar to how the world just ends outside of the high school in Angel Beats!
- Angel Beats has action and much more vivid animation (granted it is 8 years younger) than Haibane Renmei which has a much calmer yet eerie atmosphere throughout the show
It has the same atmosphere - even if the heroines are cute and nice, the reality is still bitter sweet.
Seemingly unassuming slice of life shows which eventually take a more dramatic, sinister twist. The settings in these shows are fascinating and mysterious, and play a huge role in the story, as much as the main characters themselves.
Similar setting: an isolated, ancient outpost near a small medieval town with odd traditions.
Similar style: cheerful slice-of-lifeish with periodic depressing points.
Similar focus: characters and their pasts.
A friendly, yet initally immaturely self-centered protagonist: check
A highly respected, yet sometimes moody leader who takes the protgonist under her wing: check
A motherly and sedate character: check
A mechanically-inclined character: check
Sora no Woto is just Haibane Renmai with a K-ONesque art style
Both are series that have a LARGE, and more complex universe, that... really only serves to accent/fuel the actual purpose of the series: The unbreakable bonds formed through identical circumstances.
Both also have some fine art and have a legendary composer(ironically, both composers are primarily known for one or two specific series).
They both start off with simply creating their own peculiar aura as well as setting up their own way of life. It isn't until later when those commonalities serve more as an obstacle than a stimulant.
They both have wonderfully sweet casts.
Sora no Woto's world is touched upon more than Haibane's. Less mystery in that department. Still, character mystery, in addition to secondhand character growth is present. Complementary enjoyable side stories are here too. Admittedly, the topic is a bit darker.
Haibane's world serves as one BIG allegory or theory. Nothing is really answered about those things as they serve to assist with the character's ensuing destinies. The powers that be all also a bit more in control, though with better, purer intentions. Haibane's soundtrack is also more of a home-run than Sora's. Lastly, Haibane's functionality is sooo differently well done that it earns the title of "classic".
If K-on similar in music motives and character design, than Haibane Renmei is similar in atmosphere.
We have small closed society inside the city. Platoon 1121 is honorable part of towns life, but they aren't part of town itself. Same as Graywings honored within the city, they are outcasts in peaceful world.
The beginning of Kanata's and Rio's relationships resembles Reki's and Raka's.
And of course we have this quiet sensation of something hidden, but it is not dangerous, but simply unknown.
Gentle slice of lifes that get dramatic towards the end. Both excel in atmosphere and world building. They also both have great soundtracks. Sora no Woto isn't quite as "deep" as Haibane Renmei, character-wise or theme-wise, but it's still got plenty of merit of its own.
Very similar art style and characters, has the same atmosphere of a peaceful, secluded town in a very unknown world. The only key difference is that Sora no Woto tends to open it's world a bit more, while the Haibane world is only limited to both people and locales inside the wall. In fact, I was quite surprised that the two series weren't made by the same person. 0_o
Sora no woto is setting is a post-war era where the previous humanity was nearly wiped out. Very little culture and knowledge seems to have survived. Throughout the series you just try to piece together what's the world is like from the main cast daily interactions.
Similar to Haibane Renmei, it is some what of a mystery as to what the world around them is like. A female main character joins an existing group of characters to learn their way of life. Each episode is structured like a slice of life genre, and also the entire cast is female. You can expect character development to unfold slowly with each episode. You have a bunch of cute/moe moments but the over arcing story is rather tense.
Sora no Woto does have some sad moments, but I wouldn't call it a tear jerker like how Haibane Renmei built up to. But overall I think you would see similarities you might enjoy in Sora no Woto.
While both are essentially atmospheric slice of life series with a focus on world-building, there are some key differences. The contrast between the serious and the lighthearted is more dramatic in So Ra No Wo To while Haibane Renmei's tends to be subtler in all aspects. Furthermore, the post-apocalyptic setting of So Ra No Wo To is beautifully tangible and chillingly possible with the story taking place in a colorful town littered with cultural relics from our own world while Haibane Renmei's magical realist universe is more allegorical in nature with fantastical elements alongside the mundane.
Ultimately both series are wonderfully paced atmospheric pieces that forgo plot in favor of letting the characters explore and guide the viewers through meticulously crafted environments.
If there are anime, that may fill you with love with the world and people, these are two. Haibane Renmei, an unhurried slice-of-life, which turns into truly dramatic spiritual revival by the end, and So Ra No Wo To, K-on looking "cute girls doing cute things" series, dealing with the topic of fragility and beauty of our world.
Opening Theme"Free Bird" by Kou Otani
Ending Theme"Blue Flow" by Heart of Air
|No posts for this board were found
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
Related ClubsReki Fanclub, Serious stories (anime/manga), Anime Association of Northern Illinois University MyAnimeList club, Anti Loli Association, ~ Nothing Special About Angels ~, Ryou Hirohashi Fan Club, Black Rain Cards [BRC], Fantasy Anime Club!, We Love MASKS!!~, Angel girls, Overrated Shit, Cogito Ergo Sum - Philosophy In Anime and Manga, Rakka, Watch Anime Together Club Headquarters, Anime Experience, Anime 360, Ceruhe's Tea House, Smoker's club, Recommendation Club, Marketplace GermanyScooter Girls, English Dub Watchers, Yoshitoshi ABe, Ryou Hirohashi Fan Club, CNCFixins, Kou Ootani FC, Anime Using Philosophy <3, Бессюжетные девочки, Elegant Imouto, AnimeTracker, Eesti Klubi, C&C Review Team, The Anime Alley Champagne Room, Reanimedia / Реанимедиа, The Emotional/Sad/tragic Anime Collection worth watching club!, Decadence, Dark and Light Angel fan club, Beautiful Anime Club, Brie and Spirals club of super amazing awesomeness!!, Kemonomimi Shoujo, Critics and Connoisseurs, High Class, Surreal Anime, seinen & josei, Slice of Life Club , Moe and loli haters , Kimi-chan's fanclub, The Classics Club, Discourse on Themes and Topics present in Anime, Fantasy Club, English Dub Fanclub, Wings, animeshon, Реафаны, Haibane Renmei - Charcoal Feather Federation, ABe/Konaka/Nakamura Fanclub see all
Recently Watched By